Americas Silver Corp. provided an update on the recent hoist-related issues at its Galena Complex in Wallace, Idaho. A mechanical breakdown on the No. 3 shaft will take production down until the end of the month. This combined with reduced production from shaft maintenance means that quarterly production figures for the company will be off target, the company said.
In late April, there was a 10-day suspension of milling while certain maintenance repairs were completed in the No. 3 shaft, which handles all ore and waste skipping, Americas Silver said. This repair program had been ongoing for the past three years with production activities slowed every weekend to accommodate for the repairs. The company decided to complete all remaining work in a short continuous period rather than prolong the repairs over six months.
During this period, mining was uninterrupted and blasted material was stored underground until hoisting resumed. All work was successfully completed, however, April production did suffer a slowdown, the company said. Management expected the April shortfall to be made up over the course of the year, and said May production met expectations.
On the evening of June 11, there was a mechanical failure in the brake mechanism of the No. 3 hoist. The event occurred while the conveyance was stopped and with no load. Workers immediately began the repair work and expect to have the hoist back in operation by the end of the month. Mining will be suspended during this period with an associated loss of production for the duration of the repair work.
“These two short-term interruptions in the second quarter are unfortunate, but are necessary to not only stabilize future production, but grow production at the Galena Complex,” said Darren Blasutti, president and CEO of Americas Silver Corp.
The workforce is cooperating by scheduling vacation and personal leave days as possible. Galena production in the current quarter will be below budget, but the company is confident normal operation will resume immediately after the repair work is completed with no long-term issues expected following completion of the repair.